OTT.X Trade Group Expands Board of Directors With Two New Members

The OTT.X trade group Oct. 30 announced the appointment of two additional board directors.

They are TwentyOne14 Media, represented by Quincy Newell, founder and CEO, and VIX Inc., represented by Richard Hull, head of streaming platforms and chief strategy officer. The board of directors of OTT.X, which represents the streaming sector of the home entertainment industry, now has 16 members, including board chair Cameron Douglas of Fandango, vice chair Suyin Lim of Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Pedro Gutierrez Jr. of Microsoft.

These appointments are effective immediately. Directors will serve until the annual OTT.X organizational board meeting in mid-2024.

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“These new companies on the OTT.X board of directors will add to its effectiveness,” said Mark Fisher, OTT.X president and CEO. “Each director brings an important perspective, and their wealth of experience will benefit the membership as OTT.X continues to be the forum for the OTT industry.”

TwentyOne14 Media is a content distribution, production and strategic advisory company for the media and entertainment industries.

VIX Inc. is a Miami-based streaming service that considers itself a hub for Spanish-language movies, TV shows and other filmed content aimed at Latinos.

Shout! Factory to Roll Out ‘Ultraman’ on Streaming Platforms

Shout! Factory on Nov. 1 will release its first collection of films and series from Tsuburaya Productions’ iconic “Ultraman” library, including five complete television series and two films which span over 50 years of historic fandom.

The full offering includes the TV series “Ultra Q” (1966), “Ultraman” (1966-67), “Ultraseven” (1967-68), “Ultraman Orb” (2016) and “Ultraman Geed” (2017), alongside the films Ultraman Orb The Movie: Let Me Borrow the Power of Bonds! (2017) and Ultraman Geed The Movie: Connect the Wishes! (2018). The three classic Ultraman series also will premiere on Shout! Factory TV and TokuSHOUTsu in high definition, newly available for Shout! Factory’s expanding streaming audience.

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All Ultraman content will be available for streaming on demand across Shout! Factory TV platforms, on ShoutFactoryTV.com; on Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel.

Ultraman content can also be seen on TokuSHOUTsu, a linear channel (#848) in the Gaming + Anime section of Pluto TV. Pluto TV can be found on all leading digital streaming devices and services, including Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and more, as well as major smart TVs and game consoles.

GKIDs, Shout! Factory to Send ‘Marona’ Home Nov. 10

GKIDS and Shout! Factory have announced the Nov. 10 home release of Morona’s Fantastic Tale, a new animated film from award-winning director Anca Damian (Crulic-The Path to Beyond).

The film will be available on Blu-ray Disc + DVD and digitally. Both the French version with subtitles and an English-language version will be included in the release. Bonus features include an interview with the director Anca Damian, a Q&A from the Animation Is Film Festival, an art gallery, and trailers.

Marona’s Fantastic Tale is about an optimistic stray dog named Marona who looks back on the human companions she has loved throughout her life. Born the last in the litter, little Marona’s adventures take her through a series of names and owners ­– a colorful acrobat, a sensitive construction worker, and a little girl – with dazzling style. But through all of her ups and downs, Marona’s Fantastic Tale is told with the patient, boundless love of a dog, reminding us that happiness is a small thing.

In addition to Anca Damian, artists behind Marona’s Fantastic Tale include character designer Brecht Evens, an award-winning Belgian cartoonist and Eisner Award nominee who is known for his bright, stylized art, and background artists Gine Thorstensen from Norway and Sarah Mazetti from Italy.

The film had a virtual cinema release this summer, with further theatrical engagements planned for this fall as theaters re-open.

ABKCO Sets Blu-ray Disc, DVD Release of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ‘Psychomagic, A Healing Art’

ABKCO Films has announced the Nov. 20 release of Psychomagic, A Healing Art, a film from the internationally lauded Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Initially released in the U.S. by Alamo On Demand, the film will now be available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, including hours of bonus features, an 100-page booklet, and more.

Psychomagic, A Healing Art serves as an intimate exploration of the visionary director’s theory of trauma therapy. Jodorowsky’s unique concept of healing uses performance art as a vehicle to counter deep, debilitating psychic suffering with literal “acts of confrontation” in real world applications, according to a news release. The film illuminates his vision with themes evident since the start of his career, “while contemporaneously breaking the wall between reality and performance,” the release says.

Bonus features include a link to an exclusive digital 100-page book featuring original art, essays, interviews and original testimonial letters. Through a unique code, fans will have access to two hours of additional digital bonus video content, including an interview with Alejandro Jodorowsky and his wife Pascale Montandon-Jodorowsky, a mini-documentary about the film’s poster, journalist Philippe Rouyer’s commentary on key scenes and a psychomagic act carried out by Alejandro’s son Adan Jodorosky at the end of the shoot, titled “Poesia Sin Fin.”

Veteran Home Entertainment Executive Fritz Friedman Honored as ‘Influential’ Filipino-American

Home entertainment industry veteran Fritz Friedman has been named one of the 75 most influential Filipino-Americans for 2020.

Friedman, who for more than three decades ran publicity at what ultimately became Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, came in at No. 3 on the list.

He is joined on the list by such luminaries as four-time Emmy Award winner Lisa Lew (No. 5), Grammy Award winner Bruno Mars (No. 8), and Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfield.

Friedman currently serves as president of The Fritz Friedman Company, a Los Angeles and San Diego-based production and strategic marketing communications company. Among his past and current clients are Dean Devlin / Electric Entertainment (Independence Day: Resurgence); Invoke, a Boston-based market research technology firm; big data company Parrot Analytics; and Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he worked with the worldwide chief diversity officer in the area of diversity and inclusion and targeted marketing.

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Friedman is also working on several productions including The World of Fear, an anthology of ghost stories around the world for digital platforms with his co-producers Rick Dugdale (“Blackway”) and Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang (“M. Butterfly”).  He is also producing Korematsu Vs. the US, a bio-pic about Japanese American civil rights pioneer Fred Korematsu who was imprisoned for refusing to enter internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II.

Additionally, Friedman is an associate producer for Open Door, a documentary chronicling the true – and little known –  story of how Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon permitted more than 1,200 Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust of Nazi Europe to enter the The Philippines.

He has also associate produced several films, including The State of Marriage, a documentary on marriage equality, and Kid Kulafu, the live-action bio-pic on world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.

Friedman is an adjunct professor emeritus at The Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism of The University of Southern California, where he taught advanced strategic public relations and marketing. He is also a member of the Vassar College President’s Circle, which advises the college administration on matters academic and financial.

Among the several boards on which he sits are the board of directors of Loyola Productions (chairman), the Jesuit media production company, and the Advisory Board of The Filipino American Library. He also serves on the board of advisors for Pac-Arts, which produces the annual San Diego Asian American Film Festival.

Friedman also sits on board of trustees of Boston College High School.

California Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Friedman to his second three-year term on the Board of California Humanities (the California Commission on the Humanities). Former Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz appointed Friedman to the DNC’s Credentials Committee for the 2016 Democratic National Presidential Convention. Friedman continues to be heavily involved with various projects for the AAPI Caucus of the DNC in support of the Biden-Harris Campaign 2020.

In September 2014, Friedman exited Sony Pictures Entertainment after 34 years, where he most recently served as SVP of worldwide publicity and corporate communications for two divisions — Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. He oversaw the worldwide publicity, corporate communication and media initiatives for the corporation’s multibillion dollar-a-year global home entertainment company creating and executing some of its most innovative and successful publicity campaigns including those for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the “Spider-man” and “Men In Black” franchises, The Social Network,  22 Jump Street and The Equalizer as well as such iconic television hits as the “Seinfeld” and  “Breaking Bad”  TV-on-DVD series. Additionally, he helped launch two Sony divisions – Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Affirm films.

Friedman also formulated and executed the global media campaigns that successfully launched several revolutionary technical innovations including the DVD, Blu-ray Disc, 3-D and digital distribution formats.

Friedman has a long history of philanthropic and civil rights activities, including lobbying efforts to help gain veterans benefits for more than 18,000 Filipino Veterans of World War II. For this he was given a Presidential Citation by The Philippine Government which was awarded by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at Malacanang Palace in Manila. He was also a member of the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, Chair of the Vassar College Asian Pacific Islander Alumni Association, and is the co-founder and President Emeritus of The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), the largest entertainment organization for Asian Americans in the world.

He has also been honored with several awards, including The Apl de Ap International Foundation’s “Spirit of Inspiration” Award, The CAPE Founders Award, The Philippine Bar Association’s Community Service Award and the Asian Pacific Islander Legal Center’s “Corporate Impact Award.”

A Boston native, Friedman is a graduate of Vassar College, where he was an Asian Studies Major. He received a master of arts degree in communications degree from the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania.

Action Thriller ‘Dead Reckoning’ Heads Home Nov. 13

Shout! Studios has announced the Nov. 13 release date for Dead Reckoning, a suspense action thriller directed by legendary cinematographer and filmmaker Andrzej Bartkowiak (Prizzi’s Honor, The Verdict, Terms of Endearment, Doom, Speed).

The film will be available for home viewing on VOD and digital platforms such as AppleTV, Amazon, Vudu, FandangoNow, Hoopla, Sony, Microsoft, GooglePlay, Comcast, Cox, Charter, Verizon, DirecTV and Dish.

Dead Reckoning follows the story of Tillie Gardner, a young college student on summer break who is coping with the loss of her parents in a tragic private plane crash a few weeks earlier. A summer romance with a local cab driver named Niko is helping her cope, but what she doesn’t realize is that he is the brother of the terrorist who actually sabotaged the plane, and who is involved with a plot to bomb the annual Fourth of July beach celebration on Nantucket Island. Only time will tell if she can gather herself and her wits together and discover his dark secret in time to prevent the terrible massacre.

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Written by Alfred Carter and Kristin Alexandre, the film stars India Eisley (I Am the Night, Underworld Awakening), K.J. Apa (Riverdale, The Last Summer), James Remar (Dexter, X-Men: First Class), Ellie Cornell (Femme Fatales, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers), Sydney Park (The Walking Dead, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists) and Scott Adkins (Doctor Strange, The Expendables).

Shout! Factory TV Slates Movie Marathon Curated by Patton Oswalt

Shout! Factory TV Nov. 7 will present “Patton Oswalt’s Six Pack Movie Marathon,” a 12-hour marathon of ‘B’ movies hand-selected by Oswalt, with hosted segments and interstitials from the film-buff comedian.

The collection consists of Chopping Mall, Battle Beyond the Stars, Shriek of the Mutilated, Suburbia, Eat My Dust and Q the Winged Serpent — a carefully curated selection of  cult classics that according to Shout! Factory TV “run the gamut from space opera to monster horror to punk rock pandemonium.”

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“Patton Oswalt’s Six Pack Movie Marathon” begins Saturday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m. PT and noon ET with an encore presentation Sunday, Nov. 8, at noon PT and 3 p.m. ET. The livestream can be viewed on Shout! Factory’s main website, Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; as well as the following digital streaming platforms: Pluto TV, Twitch, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, Vizio, Redbox, IMDb TV and STIRR. Versions of the broadcast will also be available for viewing on demand following the marathon on Shout! Factory’s main website and its platforms.

A comedian, actor, and writer, Oswalt continues to find success in all areas of entertainment. From his award-winning comedy specials to his many memorable film roles and guest appearances on his favorite TV shows (including “Parks and Recreation,” for which he received a TV Critics Choice Award), Oswalt is a pop cultural icon. He received an Emmy nomination this year for his latest Netflix special, “I Love Everything” and currently stars as Principal Durbin on the NBC Universal comedy “A.P. Bio,” produced by Seth Meyers, Mike O’Brien, and Lorne Michaels.

 

Shout! Factory Slates Home Dates for Anime Heist Film ‘Lupin III: The First’

GKIDS and Shout! Factory have announced home release dates for Lupin III: The First, a 2019 Japanese 3DCG comedy action-adventure heist anime film based on the “Lupin the Third” franchise.

The film will first be available for digital download on Dec. 15, followed by a Jan. 12, 2021, release in a Blu-ray Disc + DVD combo pack, as a standalone DVD, and as a Blu-ray Steelbook.

In Lupin III: The First, the iconic “gentleman thief” Lupin III returns with his colorful underworld companions as they race to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Bresson Diary, before it falls into the hands of a dark cabal that will stop at nothing to resurrect the Third Reich.

The release will be presented in both the original Japanese version and a new English dubbed version, featuring the return of the English cast that has voiced previous Lupin films and series.

Bonus features exclusive to the Blu-ray include interviews with director Takashi Yamazaki and the Japanese voice cast.

The Steelbook edition also includes a 16-page booklet featuring character concept art.

Fans who order the Blu-ray + DVD combo pack or SteelBook copies from ShoutFactory’s main website will receive an 18×24-inch lithograph, while supplies last.

‘Chicago 10’ Animated Documentary Reissued On Demand

Participant, River Road Entertainment and Giant Pictures will re-release Chicago 10, the acclaimed 2007 feature documentary written and directed by Brett Morgen (On the Ropes, Jane).

The documentary, about the arrest and trial of eight Vietnam War protesters on charges of inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, will be available on demand via Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and FandangoNow.

Chicago 10 explores the build-up to and the unraveling of the protesters’ conspiracy trial. The protesters include such famous counter-culture figures as Abbie Hoffman,  Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, and Tom Hayden. After numerous outbursts, Seale was severed from the case and sentenced to four years in prison on 16 contempt charges. The title of the film is drawn from a quote by Rubin, who said, “Anyone who calls us the Chicago Seven is a racist. Because you’re discrediting Bobby Seale. You can call us the Chicago Eight, but really we’re the Chicago 10, because our two lawyers went down with us.”

The trial resulted in five of the seven convicted for inciting riots. All were acquitted of conspiracy, but sentenced to lengthy jail terms for contempt of court. Later, the contempt charges were reversed, and all of the convictions for inciting riots were overturned.

The film blends interviews with narration, and archival footage with animation. The film moves back and forth from the streets of Chicago to the courtroom, merging the past and present.

Animated segments are voiced by actors Hank Azaria, Mark Ruffalo, Jeffrey Wright, Roy Scheider, Liev Schreiber and Nick Nolte.

Shout! Studios Sets Home Release Date for Linda Ronstadt Documentary

Shout! Studios and PCH Films have announced the Oct. 20 home release of Linda and the Mockingbirds, a documentary capturing Linda Ronstadt’s 2019 journey to Mexico with the young Mexican-American song and dance troupe Los Cenzontles.

The documentary will be released digitally and is available for pre-order now.

From award-winning director and producer James Keach (Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me), who also produced the 2019 Linda Ronstadt documentary The Sound of My Voice, Linda and the Mockingbirds is the result of Ronstadt introducing Keach to the Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy.

The documentary chronicles a road trip with Ronstadt, musician Jackson Browne, and a tour bus full of young singers, dancers and instrumentalists to the small town of Banámichi in the Mexican state of Sonora, where Ronstadt’s grandfather grew up. There, they meet up with their Mexican counterparts, the folkloric dance troupe Grupo de Danza Xunutzi, and put on soulful performances showcasing Mexican culture.

A well-known musical icon, Ronstadt is the recipient of multiple Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, and Academy of Country Music Awards, as well as an ALMA Award and an Emmy. In her recording career she released three hit Spanish-language albums.